Former Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (D-DE) issued the following statement today after the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in Boumediene v. Bush, which held that Guantanamo Bay prisoners have the right to contest their detention in federal courts:
"Today, our nation's highest court again rejected the Bush Administration's expansive view of executive power.
"The Court was clear: the detainees at Guantanamo Bay have the Constitutional right to judicial review of their detention. This right is an indispensable safeguard against the abuse of power in a time of war - especially when detainees are often captured not on a battlefield or wearing a military uniform. As Justice Kennedy wrote for the Court today: 'the laws and Constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times.'
"Today's opinion is an important and much-needed check by a co-equal branch of government on an Administration which has shown utter contempt for the rule of law. As we look forward, we must take stock that this decision was five Justices to four. If one more Justice in the mold of Chief Justice Roberts or Justice Alito is appointed to the Court, decisions such as this will likely come out the other way."